Dack, John ORCID logoORCID: (2018) Radiophonie/Poesie/Musik. In: Radiophonics: Volume 1 Radiophonic Cultures [Exhibition Catalogue]. Holl, Ute, Singer, Nathalie and et, al., eds. Kehrer Verlag, Berlin, Germany, pp. 153-161. pbk-ISBN 9783868288629. [Book Section]


The subject of this article originates in a simple question: how did Pierre Schaeffer’s experiments in radiophonic productions in the 1940s result in an extensive and unique form of music theory? The technology of radio broadcasting clearly played a part but a progression via studio practice to music theory is not immediately obvious. Can a direct connection be established from radiophonic works such as La Coquille à Planètes to the Traité des Objets Musicaux? As a musicologist teasing out this connection is a subject to which I return frequently. I believe a case can be made for confirming this assertion and, in addition, I believe the consistency of certain ideas central to Schaeffer’s intellectual development and his practice can be identified. The role of technological mediation, the importance of the abstract/concrete dualism, the relationship between subject and object, and even the post-Romantic notion of transcendence are themes which recur throughout his work. Each of these subjects (there are more, of course!) contributed to the eventual emergence of a music-theoretical framework as initially sketched in Schaeffer’s book A la Recherche d’une Musique Concrète in 1952 and culminating in the Traité des Objets Musicaux in 1966 with his Programme de la recherche musicale. This programme continues to provide musicians with the critical and analytical tools with which to question fundamental musical concepts often problematized by the use of technology. The instrument, play, composition, musical material and its classification and description can now be examined by theories which originated from a unique convergence of sound and studio practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Exhibition: Radiophonic Spaces, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 01 Nov - 01 Dec, 2018
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Music group
Item ID: 24953
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Depositing User: John Dack
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2018 12:30
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2020 12:36

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